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Columnist for TimesLedger Newspapers honored

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The Queens Jewish Community Council is slated to bestow dedicated community service citations next week on activists Robert and Edna Harris, longtime legislator Audrey Pheffer and a Jamaica nursing home.

The QJCC event, at Israel Center at 167-11 73rd Ave. in Flushing Aug. 30 will be the organization’s 15th testimonial dinner.

Robert Harris, who retired from teaching 20 years ago after more than 30 years as a high school social studies teacher, was a United Federation of Teachers delegate for decades. He was president of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association for many years and president of the United Civic Council, which became the Queens Civic Congress. He is a member of Community Board 8 and serves on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

In 2009, Borough President Helen Marshall presented Harris with the Queens Lifetime Achievement Award for his “dedication to civic engagement, education and the family of Queens County.”

He writes a civic affairs column for TimesLedger Newspapers.

Edna Harris spent 30 years teaching elementary school in Queens. During that time, she raised five children: Andrea, Jennifer, Abigail, Diana and Daniel. She is the education vice president of Hillcrest Hadassah and is on the Steering Committee of Volunteers of the New York Philharmonic.

She also sews blankets for babies and sick children.

Her father, Abe Venner, was a founding member of the Queens Jewish Community Council.

“It’s time to give something back to the community,” she said of her volunteer work.

Pheffer, who served nearly 30 years in the state Assembly until becoming the Queens county clerk recently, will be cited for supporting the Queens Jewish Community Council and recognizing its impact in the community, especially supporting QJCC’s Project Lifeline, which provides emergency medical communicators to those living alone and frail.

The Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is to be honored for its “quality short- and long-term care as well as sensitivity to the Jewish community by providing residents with special amenities with glatt kosher meals through their special kosher kitchen, an apartment for family members during the sabbath and Jewish holidays, a rabbi on site and daily services.”

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

Updated 11:32 am, October 12, 2011
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